London's The Shard has taken top honors in the annual Skyscraper Award from Hamburg-based building and construction data company Emporis.
The awards, announced annually since 2000, are chosen by an "international jury of architecture experts" who select nominated buildings completed in the last year and are at least 100 meters tall, according to "aesthetic and functional design criteria," an Emporis spokesperson said in a statement.
"Construction of The Shard was complicated by the particularly tight site and therefore needed innovative planning," said Emporis.
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"This makes the result all the more impressive: a skyscraper that is recognized immediately and which is already considered London's new emblem."
DC Tower 1 in Vienna, Austria, designed by Dominique Perrault Architecture, took second place.
It was lauded for "the contrasting way in which its facade is treated: three mirror-smooth sides are broken by a craggy, jagged fourth that gives the building a strength of expression and sense of solidity, despite its slim stature."
Third place went to the Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort, on Lake Tai near Shanghai, China.
"Its daring design is further accentuated by its illumination at night, which creates imposing reflections of the building in the lake," said Emporis.
That hotel became known as "The Donut" after being featured in several media reports at the time of its completion.
No North American buildings made the top 10 this year, while five European buildings were celebrated, the most since 2008.